Law News

Letting Agent Banned for Failing to Protect Deposits

Em Morley - February 13, 2020

A letting agent who failed to protect £28,000 worth of deposits and rent has been banned from the business for five years after her lettings agency went into liquidation.

Jane Hipkin Russell, the sole director of Jonathan Waters Estate Agents was first investigated in August 2018 after the business went into liquidation. The investigation found that Russell had contributed to the business’ collapse by failing to comply with legislation requiring tenancy deposits to be placed in a recognised scheme.

It was revealed that there was no record of 11 tenants’ deposits, totalling around £12,000 and a further £20,000 worth had not been paid into a government-backed deposit scheme.

In addition, the business had failed to transfer a further £7,000 worth of rent payments to their respective landlords and had instead used the cash to fund the running of the business. 

Effective as of Friday 14th February, Russell will be disqualified from acting as a director or directly, or indirectly being involved in the promotion, formation or management of a company.

Rob Sheils, senior investigator for the Insolvency Service, commented: 

“A fundamental part of Jane Russell’s role was being responsible for safeguarding money on behalf of her tenants and landlords, something she failed to do prior to the company falling into liquidation.

“This disqualification should serve as a deterrent to other directors who safeguard money from doing likewise.”